Details continued to emerge about the man who was sent to Yemen by the Saudi counterintelligence agency to infiltrate al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. A source told the U.S. broadcaster the mole was born in Saudi Arabia but had been raised in Europe and had been sympathetic to Islamic fundamentalists.
CNN said his British passport made him attractive to al-Qaida because it allowed him to travel to the United States without obtaining a visa.
The source said after the man was accepted for training as a suicide bomber he contacted Saudi intelligence from Yemen and they informed U.S. intelligence about the planned operation to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner.
The double agent and another informant were spirited out of Yemen along with the underwear-type explosive device being analyzed by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies. CNN said the device used PETN, the same explosive that has been used in previous al-Qaida attempts to down airplanes.